Mah visits her chiropractor to combat sinus congestion,
minor headaches, and fatigue.
Life Chiropractic College West in Hayward, California,
students are taught how to locate and correct "subluxations"
- supposed abnormalities of the spine. According to
college president Gerard
Clum, these "minor misalignments" can "have profound
impact…on the health and well being of the patient."
Kimberly Mah, a frequent chiropractic patient, tells
FRONTIERS that that the regular "adjustments" she receives
help her maintain her good health.
by Daniel Palmer in 1895, chiropractic aims to correct
blocked nerves - what Palmer claimed were the cause
of all disease - by re-aligning the spine. But as former
Badanes tells Alan, chiropractic has no basis in
anatomy. Conducting a typical examination, Badanes explains
how patients and chiropractors alike can misinterpret
the popping sound that accompanies spinal adjustments.
In fact it's dissolved gas being released in the joint
fluid (the same thing that happens when you crack your
knuckles) and not a sign that vertebrae are changing
position - an anatomical impossibility.
device, called an "activator," is used by chiropractors
as one of many ways to adjust the spine.
Like Badanes, physician Robert
Baratz, executive director of the National Council
Against Health Fraud, takes issue with chiropractic. Baratz
is concerned about the risk of injury during neck manipulation,
which can place severe strain on a vertebral artery, leading
to blood clotting and stroke. Although chiropractors maintain
this type of injury is very rare, a recent Canadian study
estimated that 20 percent of all strokes caused by artery
damage could be a result of neck manipulation. That figure
translates into more than 1,300 strokes a year in the
more on this topic, see the web feature:
Keeping Spine in Line